TABLE 1

Overview of current asthma drugs

DrugCategoryTargetMechanism of ActionMedical UseExamples
ICSsLong-term control medicationsGlucocorticoid receptorsSuppression of airway inflammationMild/Moderate persistent asthmaBudesonide, beclomethasone, fluticasone
LABAsLong-term control medicationsβ2ARRelaxation of bronchial smooth muscleModerate to severe asthmaSalmeterol, formoterol, olodaterol
LAMAsLong-term control medicationsMRs (functional selectivity for M3R)Relaxation of bronchial smooth muscleUncontrolled asthmaTiotropium, umeclidinium, glycopyrrolate
LTRAsLong-term control medicationsCysLT receptor 1Antagonize actions of leukotrienes in the airwaySecondary option for mild/moderate persistent asthmaMontelukast, pranlukast, zafirlukast
Other leukotriene modifierLong-term control medications5-LOXInhibit the formation of leukotrienesSecondary option for mild/moderate persistent asthmaZileuton
MethylxanthinesLong-term control medicationsPhosphodiesterase 3, adenosine receptorsRelaxation of bronchial smooth muscleSecondary option for mild/moderate persistent asthmaTheophylline
Mast cell stabilizerLong-term control medicationsCalcium-activated potassium channelsInhibit the release of inflammatory mediatorsMild persistent asthmaCromolyn
Oral and intravenous corticosteroidsQuick-relief (rescue) medicationsGlucocorticoid receptorsSuppression of airway inflammationSevere asthmaPrednisolone, prednisone, methylprednisolone
SABAsQuick-relief (rescue) medicationsβ2ARRelaxation of bronchial smooth muscleSevere asthmaAlbuterol, levalbuterol
SAMAsQuick-relief (rescue) medicationsMRs (no selectivity for M3R)Relaxation of bronchial smooth muscleAcute asthma exacerbationIpratropium, oxitropium
AntibodiesBiologic agentsIgE and ILsReducing inflammation by blocking IgE and ILsAllergic and severe asthmaOmalizumab, mepolizumab, dupilumab